Cycle lights and cycles of yesterday

There can be no doubt that cycles and cycle lights have come a very long way over the centuries. Looking at the high tech. options on the market today and then comparing them with the amazing and sometimes rather strange looking designs of yesteryear can provide us with many an unfair giggle at our ancestors and their efforts at creating a simple yet effective mode of two wheeled transport. From Velocipedes to Penny Farthings to the sleek high speed model of today we have come a huge distance and funny as the old designs of yesterday are, it is thanks to the early founders of cycles and cycling that we can today enjoy a wide range of models and high performance lighting options.

When cycle lights were candles!

When the first two wheeled cycles appeared on the market, there were no options available for lighting other than lanterns with candles inside them. As you can imagine this did not make for a very reliable form of lighting in bad weather and on bad roads where the slightest jolt would put the candle out! Repeatedly stopping to re-light your cycle lights would not make for a very speedy journey so it became obvious pretty quickly that an alternative was needed. Something reliable and light had to be invented. Acetylene gas was to provide a bright and simple solution to the problem of candlelit lanterns although these lamps came with problems of their own in that they required a lot of maintenance and were not very reliable; they were soon superseded by battery powered lamps in around 1890.

Cycle lights move on

Lead acid batteries were the next big development in cycle lights and even though they were invented as early as 1859 they were not in common use until around 1890. They were again a huge leap forward for cycle lights but were soon to be replaced by dry cells and cycle lights became much less unwieldy and far simpler to maintain. It was of course at around this time that dynamo’s first made an appearance and by using the bicycles own movement to generate power a reliable source of light was found which was also more practical due to the size of the battery.

Cycle lights today

There is a huge range of lights available for bicycles today and most people can tailor their lighting system to their own habits and needs. Low cost and energy efficient LED lights are a popular choice for cyclists who do not ride in darkness regularly whilst battery powered lights are also poplar but require more outlay on replacement batteries than LED lights do.

Research the options fully and take advantage of the enormous choice on offer, we have come a long way from the days of guttering candles on the fronts of our cycles and with more and more energy efficient and cheap models on the market, it’s not difficult too find the perfect lights for your needs.